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Ambassador David Gross Discusses International Internet Negotiations

Bloomberg BNA
December 27, 2012

Ambassador David A. Gross, chair of Wiley Rein’s International Telecommunications Group, was interviewed by Bloomberg BNA for a December 26 story on the future of Internet governance.

The U.S. was among 55 countries that this month refused to sign a new global treaty that critics said could lead to expanded international regulation of the Internet. Amb. Gross was part of the U.S. delegation that rejected the treaty at the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai. The treaty was signed by 89 countries. The United Nation’s International Telecommunications Union will hold another conference in Geneva in May, according to the article.

“This is just the beginning or part of the beginning of what will be undoubtedly a long and very important process,” said Amb. Gross, who served as the U.S. State Department’s Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy from 2001-2009. He said “difficult work” lies ahead for the U.S. in convincing countries to accept the current “multistakeholder” model of Internet governance.

“There's always a hope that, over time, these governments that signed the [treaty] will understand better what's in the best interest of their people, and that that understanding will equate to, among other things, a more open economy, a greater free flow of information, a refocus on innovation, and private-sector leadership,” Amb. Gross told Bloomberg BNA. “But I wouldn't want to be sanguine about that. Over time, we'll just have to see how it'll play out.”